Microsoft Windows 8 METRO and BUILD- The Good, Bad, Ugly, and WWTD
Can be summarized in the sad story behind how they handled Silverlight and WPF. The way they handled decommissioning Silverlight by choosing not to communicate about it is simply sad.
My dog thinks that if he looks the other way and can't see you, you can't see him either. Not mentioning Silverlight for the past year did not kill it, it simply left everyone wondering why Microsoft chose to look the other way.
Why could there not be a session called "The Future of Silverlight and WPF"? Even if the session was all about porting the technology to XAML for Windows that would have been so much better than simply not mentioning it.
Microsoft considers the enterprise line of business environment owned by them and not losable. Their full attention is on the mobile world. They not only do not own that, they don't even own part of it.
I have to help evaluate enterprise products quite often and I am finding more and more situations were only Java products are available. At least all the products in the quadrant of the Gartner quadrants that counts.
I have been putting it off for a long time, but I can't put it off any longer. I will be getting more familiar with Java. We need RIA and client applications in order to achieve the performance required by internal enterprise applications. Because Microsoft is making it so difficult to get them in the door, even in Microsoft shops, I don't have a choice but to get familiar with the products coming out that support our needs.
Beyond Java I will also be learning the ins and outs of HTML5/JS/CSS. I will have to if for no other reason than to know enough about them to keep them off my projects when not appropriate. I certainly won't be using them for METRO apps while XAML still exists, and using them on the web is anybody's game, not just Microsoft's. If I had to use HTML5/JS/CSS, I would probably look at Dreamweaver first.
Their attention is also on windows 8 and getting some of the private cloud and virtualization business. That is good in my book, but believe it will breed fear in most enterprises.
The enterprises I work with were just starting to consider accepting Silverlight and WPF into their ASP.NET world. Microsoft stopped that from happening by not communicating over the last year about their intentions, and then by not even mentioning it in the sessions at BUILD.
Most places I have experience with will not be touching Windows 8 unless METRO can be disabled on the desktop. It is silly to think you would have to work in such an environment on a desktop.
I could not get Visual Studio 2010 Premium to run correctly on the developer preview. Hopefully the next releases allows it to run right. After I installed it my Visual Studio 2011 Express environment was trashed too. I had to use the handy reset button and start over.
The individual hobbyist and cutting edge companies have a great chance to prosper. If Microsoft can get some of the mobile market share, those that stick with them will have some unique opportunities.
It is possible Microsoft will get some of the mobile market share now. It was hopeless before.
Personally I plan on moving forward with XAML development. It is the only client library from Microsoft that I actually like to use. I won't be trying to push it into enterprises anymore, but I will be continuing to use it. I really really dig it. It is a sweet environment and really fun to code in.
It is good Microsoft finally pushed me hard enough to hear the pop (my head coming out of my butt). I have already used the money I that I had planned to use on Silverlight 5 and other Microsoft .NET books on 2 new HTML 5 books, 3 Java books, and 2 new Software Architecture books coming out. I listed them below.
This may also be the first year I don't dump 5 grand on MSDN. I may get a MacBook instead that way I have access to buying and using their development tools too.
WWTD- What Would Tad Do?
My advice to those that are using Silverlight and WPF is to continue using it. If it was my call, I would use it on the current projects it just got booted off of that I am involved with as well as all my future project that it makes sense on. I would not use it for external web facing applications that you want to far be reaching (that has been the case for some time now), but internal enterprise applications benefit from it tremendously.
Microsoft did a really crappy job of telling you that you can continue to develop with Silverlight and WPF. I understand if you don't want to put your neck out for it anymore on your gigs, but I would keep learning it.
I would also take this time to think about the direction of your career. For a long time I was only willing to learn Microsoft technologies. That way I could be specialized in them. Right now they are way to vague for me to continue to do that. Below are the books I ordered and preordered over the weekend. I plan on branching out. A buddy suggested looking into Google Dart, so I will be doing that also.